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Baby CPR – What You Should Know

CPR classes are one of my favourite classes to teach because it is such important information to share. These classes also bring out a variety of people! Expecting couples will come to the class to try to gain as much knowledge as they can before the baby comes and life gets busier. New parents with little ones getting close to starting solids, parents with little ones that are getting on the move, and grandparents that are going to be providing childcare also come to the class.

Do something, do something fast

CPR for your baby is such an important skill to know. Time is very important when we have an unconscious little one, damage begins after only a few minutes without oxygen. Knowing how to react and what to do can save a little one’s life. Early interventions, such as CPR, can significantly increase a little one’s chance of survival.
Of course, we hope these things never happen to us and that we are never faced with an emergency like this, but the reality is these things do happen and no one is immune.

Preparing for CPR

You would always want to make sure that your little one is on a firm flat surface and that you have removed their top so you can see the chest to landmark properly. The steps below are for baby CPR so that would be a little one from newborn up to 12 months of age.


  1. Is the environment safe?
    1. First thing you need to do is make sure the environment is safe for you to approach.  If the environment is not safe, you would want to call for help and wait for them to arrive.
  2.  Check for responsiveness
    1. Do not spend any more than 10 seconds here.
    2. You can say “are you okay” and tap their toes looking for a response.
    3. You want to look, listen and feel.
      1. You are LOOKING at the little one’s appearance.  Little ones in need of help are not moving and their colour is off, usually blue.  You are also looking to see if their chest is rising signalling breathing.
      2. You are LISTENING to see if you hear any signs of breathing.
      3. You are FEELING for breath against your cheek as you look for signs of the chest rising.  You are also FEELING for a pulse.  Best place to feel for a pulse with a baby is a brachial pulse.
    4. Baby is unresponsive if they are not responding to your stimulation and/or they have no or no normal pulse and no or no normal breathing.
    5. The best thing here is to go with your gut instinct and not to second guess yourself.  If you think the baby needs help then move on with getting them help.
  3.  Call for help
    1. The ideal situation would be is if you had someone with you and they could call or go get help while you got CPR started.

To administer a breath of air you would want to tilt babies head back slightly and cover your babies nose and mouth with your mouth. Give a little puff of air, over about 2 seconds, just enough air in to see their chest rise appropriately.

What about Choking?

For a conscious choking baby, you would do a combination of back blows and chest compressions. If a baby that is choking goes unconscious then we do baby CPR with the exception of looking in their mouth for the object after the compressions before we give the breaths.

Baby CPR is definitely something that should be on every parents and caregivers resume! We should know how to respond to an emergency like this and feel comfortable initiating CPR. If you would like more information or to take a Child/Infant CPR & Choking workshop, please reach out to the Mama Coach in your area.

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